I knew it was going to be sort of a long day when I woke up to get dressed and have my luggage ready to go. At approximately 10:20 AM Magaly, Izabel and I walked to the Small Point Café where we bought a breakfast sandwich and a drink. After getting our min breakfasts we headed back to the Hotel Providence to meet up with NEMOW before we headed to Gourmet Heaven to get a light lunch. I chose chocolates and a drink.
Once we left Gourmet Heaven we began our trek back to the hotel. When we arrived we had 10 to 15 minutes to get all of our luggage and get ready to head off to the Roger Williams Zoo. The luggage was in our rental van while we walked around the zoo.
The zoo was very nice—much better than the Oakland and San Francisco zoos back at home. They had many different animals that I’ve never seen before. For example, in a small portion of the zoo called “Africa” they had red pandas, kangaroos and moon bears. The zoo was like no other I had seen in that it was clean, calm yet very humid. It was nice exploring the zoo in Providence with NEMOW before we headed home.
After two hours of taking in the zoo we headed back to the rental van and headed to the airport. When we arrived at the airport we had the option to check our bags with a skycap outside the terminal or stand in a lengthy line at the counter inside. My preference was to go the shorter route outside. That way I could get it over with and not have to drag my luggage for a long distance. Once we checked our luggage we all gathered to go through the security check. For the first time I had to take the longer process where I had to remove my shoes and sweater. Luckily I wasn’t the only one with Jenny and Thao joining me. After we passed through the security check we proceeded to our gate and hung out for about an hour or two before boarding our plane.
On the plane I sat next to Magaly, Thao and Maria. We all slept at first but then Magaly and I saw Thao and Maria playing Uno.
We arrived in Chicago and grabbed a quick dinner. We all went with burgers since the pizza venue was super packed. Even so, we barely made our plane on time—we were some f the first to board. When we got seated we all sat next to each other for the last time. It was an extremely bumpy ride this time. Of course, since it was my first time on a return flight I had little to compare it with.
I talked with Maria and Izabel about our whole trip and how we appreciate what the Ivy League Connection has given us. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
When we arrived at the airport in San Francisco we all knew it was time to say our goodbyes to each other. We all were very excited to see our families. Once we got off of the plane and walked towards the baggage claim area I heard everyone say “Aww!”. Because I was in the back of the pack I was curious what was going on but the next thing I knew I saw my family with posters, flowers and balloons to welcome me home.
After getting my luggage I said goodbye to everyone. I’ll never forget the friends I made and what I learned. If I had the chance to do this whole summer program again I definitely would.